Belarus: imprisonment is a form of “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”

Imprisonment in many penal facilities of Belarus is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This is one of the main conclusions of monitoring of prison conditions in the country conducted by the Human Rights Centre Viasna.

“Civil and political, as well as social and economic rights of prisoners are violated with impunity because of the lack of mechanisms for their protection. The national authorities empowered to protect the rights of individuals do not fulfil their tasks and do not understand their responsibility for reforming the situation. Access to international treaty bodies is hampered; their opinion and practice are ignored by the state,” the monitoring report says.

According to experts of Viasna, economic situation in the country is sufficient to create conditions for prisoners that would not cause additional suffering, in addition to the fact of imprisonment. In many cases, changing the situation does not demand additional budget expenditures.

“Additional difficulties have been created for prisoners being held on the grounds of their political or social activities,” human rights defenders admit.

The full version of the monitoring report of prison conditions in Belarus and recommendations to the authorities of the country can be accessed here